OIL AND WATER
Someone once said that we read about man's successes on the sports page. SI, however, has shown sport's success is becoming relevant to the pressing problem of conservation. I thank you for taking time out to contribute a valuable public service in publishing Ross Macdonald's Life with the Blob (April 21).
VINCENT W. MOONEY JR.
As only one of thousands of Southern Californians, I would like to thank SPORTS ILLUSTRATED and Ross Macdonald for an honest report of events surrounding the recent Santa Barbara tragedy.
The fact that such a disaster did occur when it could so easily have been avoided is frustrating. And when people like Union Oil President Fred L. Hartley respond with such lack of understanding I can only record disgust!
As a student I have never been a part of any active protest. But, having been witness to the work of the oil interests, I must end my passivity. I would like to know that in the future I will be able to enjoy the natural beauty of this earth without fear that the Mr. Hartleys will ruin it first.
A. ALAN BUTTON
The people of Santa Barbara have indeed suffered a terrible disaster but they have reacted childishly in condemning the oil industry. This nation depends heavily on a natural resource that is fast being depleted. The people of Santa Barbara cannot isolate themselves from the rest of the country or turn their backs on the fact that they happen to live in an area that contains a product needed by an entire nation.
Let's get off the soapbox and back to sports.
LARRY A. DORSEY
Farmington, N. Mex.
It was an exceptionally informative article on the unfortunate Santa Barbara Channel disaster. To Southern Californians may I suggest: Join the Blob Club. People living along the Louisiana coastal area are charter members. We have been exposed to such happenings for more than 10 years.
Federal and state officials tell us that we are not being affected by pollution from thousands of offshore oil wells in the Gulf of Mexico. Oil companies swear that they are maintaining clean operations. But, mean-while, our wild and marine life is suffering.
Preserving wilderness and producing oil are not contradictory, says Frank N. Ikard, president of American Petroleum Institute (19TH HOLE, April 21). Ikard speaks like a true oilman. The stronger element will survive. And it will not be wildlife because it cannot defend itself against industrial pollution, the law of economics and the aggressive pressure of oil lobbies in Federal and state governments.
WALDO J. ORRSON
Let us hope that Frank N. Ikard and his constituents, Fred Hartley et al., do a better job of meeting the challenge in Alaska put forth by Robert Cantwell (The Ultimate Confrontation, March 24) than they did in the Santa Barbara Channel.
ROBERT S. BROWN JR.
Shawnee Mission, Kans.